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Beth White
President and CEO

As one of the nation’s leading urban park planners, Beth White brings a broad range of experience and accomplishments to her role at Houston Parks Board. In January 2012, President Obama appointed Beth White to the National Capital Planning Commission, the federal planning agency for the National Capital Region. Prior to her role at Houston Parks Board, she served as director, Chicago region, for The Trust For Public Land and oversaw the development of Chicago’s innovative park and elevated trail system, The 606. Over the past decade, White has led several successful projects that involved public-private partnerships, planning, fundraising and opening new parks throughout the Chicago metropolitan region, spanning three states. White was also instrumental in the designation of Hackmatack, the only U.S. National Wildlife Refuge within 150 miles of Chicago and Milwaukee.

Prior to her work at The Trust for Public Land, White served as Chicago Housing Authority managing director in charge of communication activities, resource development and intergovernmental relations. She also served as Chief of Staff for the Chicago Transit Board, directed the initial phases of Chicago's $100 million Empowerment Zone program, supervised the City of Chicago's award-winning CitySpace program, and, as the founding executive director of the non-profit Friends of the Chicago River, led the creation of the lauded Chicago River Urban Design Guidelines. She holds a Master’s degree in urban studies from Loyola University and a Bachelor’s degree in communication studies from Northwestern University.

Adrin P. Biagas
Senior Land Acquisition Manager

Adrin Biagas joined the Houston Parks Board in May 2015. As the land acquisition manager, Adrin oversees all aspects of the acquisition of parcels/properties for the Bayou Greenways 2020 Project and for the creation of parkland. Adrin brings with him over 13 years of experience within the real estate industry that includes development, residential and new construction. Adrin’s experience also includes land acquisition and project management roles in local government as well as in the telecommunications industry. Adrin received his Bachelor of Business Administration from LeTourneau University and has his Texas Real Estate License.

John Brandt, ASLA PLA
Bayou Greenways Project Manager

John joined the Houston Parks Board in July 2016, returning to Houston after 5 years in Hong Kong where he served as a Design Director for an architecture firm. His work abroad focused on large scale land development projects in China/ SE Asia with extensive public space and greenspace systems. Prior to working abroad, he worked for a prominent local landscape architecture firm on a broad spectrum of complex projects with park, public space and greenway components. John received his Bachelors of Landscape Architecture from The Pennsylvania State University. As the Bayou Greenways Project Manager John works closely with in-house staff, consultant design teams and stakeholders to implement the Bayou Greenways master plan.

Tina M. Clayton
Development Coordinator

Tina joined the Houston Parks Board in March 2016. As Development Coordinator, Tina is responsible for donor database management, serving as the community liaison for the Neighborhood Partnership Program, and supports the Development department with fundraising events, grant applications, and reporting. Tina has worked in various industries and brings non-profit experience from her work with Brigid’s Place and the St. Paul Scholarship Foundation. Tina has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Houston.

Russ Clements
Bayou Greenways Greenspace Manager

Russ Clements joined the Houston Parks Board in June 2014. As a bayou greenways greenspace manager, Russ is responsible for oversight of contractor work along the bayous, including turf establishment, wildflower planting, mowing, removing litter and heavy debris, graffiti abatement, forestry work and maintenance of site amenities. Prior to joining the Houston Parks Board, Russ had eight years of experience with the Harris County Flood Control District as a vegetation management inspector and supervisor. Russ also worked in the telecommunications industry for over 20 years in various capacities such as management, engineering, construction, technical operations and sales. Russ is a U.S. Navy Submarine Veteran.

Gracie Fernandez
Executive Assistant to President and CEO

Gracie joined the Houston Parks Board as the Executive Assistant to the President and CEO in June 2017. She has extensive office management experience, mostly with non-profit organizations including Community Family Centers and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Houston where she has previously held the role of Executive Assistant to the President and CEO. Gracie is a graduate of the University of Houston Paralegal Certificate Program. Her free time is spent visiting Houston area parks and attractions with her two young children.

Evelyn Freeman
AP/AR Specialist

Evelyn Freeman joined the Houston Parks Board in July of 2015 with more than 25 years of accounting experience. She is currently working towards her Accounting Certificate at Houston Community College, and is responsible for accounts payable and payroll among other responsibilities at the Houston Parks Board. Evelyn enjoys spending her free time traveling, shopping, and playing with her 7 grandchildren and 6 year-old Shih-Tzu named Minnie.

Denise Garcia

Denise is a Houston Native who joined the Houston Parks Board in July of 2015. She graduated from the University of Houston Bauer Business school with a BA in accounting. She is currently working toward her CPA license. She brings non-profit accounting experience working for well-known non-profits such as the Children’s Museum of Houston and the Houston Zoo as well as public accounting experience from Blazek & Vetterling. Denise is enthusiastic about being a positive change in Houston.

Lisa Graiff
Beyond the Bayous Project Manager

Lisa comes to the Houston Parks Board as a licensed architect with 20 years of experience working on international projects ranging from hospitals to high-rises. She has lived and worked Dallas, New York, London, Shanghai, and Houston. She currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors at the Bayou Land Conservancy, a land trust that focuses in the Houston Region. It was this work that encouraged Lisa to change her career focus from buildings to parks and open space.

As Beyond the Bayous Project Manager, Lisa is instrumental in implementing the Beyond the Bayous initiative, which expands Bayou Greenways 2020 throughout the Greater Houston Area. This expansion of the public realm is organized around 19 Neighborhood Networks and 8 new Regional Connectors that identify new, integrated, open space and connectivity opportunities and involves numerous public and private entities working in a cooperative and comprehensive effort.

Dan Howse
Bayou Greenways Asset Manager

Dan joins the Houston Parks Board as a member of the Conservation and Maintenance team. He brings with him over 18 years of experience in landscape design, environmental preservation and tree relocation. As a licensed landscape architect, Dan has worked on both the design side and project management side of projects.

Marvin James
Greenspace Manager

Marvin is a Houston Native who joined the Houston Parks Board in July of 2016. As a Greenspace Manager, Marvin is responsible for oversight of contractor work along the bayous, including turf establishment, wildflower planting, mowing, removing litter and heavy debris, graffiti abatement, forestry work and maintenance of site amenities. Prior to joining the Houston Parks Board, Marvin had seven years of experience with the Harris County Flood Control District working as Construction/Development Coordination Inspector and Property Manager. Marvin received his Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from the College of Science, Engineering and Technology at Texas Southern University.

Arun Johnson
Senior Staff Accountant

Arun joined the Houston Parks Board in January 2016. He graduated from the University of Houston C.T. Bauer College of Business with a B.B.A. in Accounting and is currently working towards the requirements needed to sit for the CPA exam. As a staff accountant, Arun assists in duties such as contribution reconciliations, month end reconciliations and preparation of financial reports. Arun is excited about his role as a staff accountant and supporting a strong Finance & Accounting department here at the Houston Parks Board.

Lisa Kasianowitz
Outreach Manager

Lisa Kasianowitz joined the Houston Parks Board in March 2015. As the Outreach Manager, she connects the Houston Parks Board with community-focused and civic-minded groups as well as elected officials and partners to receive their input and inform them about the organization’s Bayou Greenways 2020 project. The manager is also responsible for answering public inquiries, hosting presentations about the organization’s projects and assisting with event planning.

Before joining the Houston Parks Board, Lisa served as a media spokeswoman and community relations coordinator with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Lisa received her Bachelor of Arts in Letters, Arts and Sciences with a concentration in Environmental Science, Political Science, English and History from Pennsylvania State University.

Kelly McCann
Activation and Volunteer Manager

Kelly joined the Houston Parks Board in February 2019. With a BS in Natural Resource Ecology from Oklahoma State University and a passion for getting people outdoors, Kelly was drawn to urban parks. She brings experience in building park volunteer programs at Memorial Park Conservancy in Houston and with the National Park Service in Saint Paul, Minnesota. As a Houston native, Kelly is excited about bringing world-class park experiences to all Houstonians. In her role as Activation and Volunteer Manager, she will work towards doing so through community partnerships, park activation, and a city-wide volunteer program.

Richard McNamara
Senior Program Manager

Richard joined the Houston Parks Board in 2013 as the Bayou Greenways Program Manager with more than 28 years of experience as a landscape architect and project manager. Prior to this position Richard served as Principal of a local landscape architecture firm and managed the planning and design process of numerous park projects around the state of Texas, including more than 60 projects in Harris County. As the Bayou Greenways Program Manager, Richard works closely with the Executive Director and Projects Team to manage the various segments of the Bayou Greenways 2020 Project.

Andy Newman
Managing Director of Activation & Operations Strategy

Andy Newman joined Houston Parks Board in September 2017 as Managing Director of Activation & Operations Strategy. Andy leads HPB’s strategy as it activates the Bayou Greenways citywide, strengthening and developing business partnerships, and advancing HPB operations. Andy has delivered large scale complex programs across multiple sectors and is recognized as a world leader in effectively mobilizing significant workforce efforts following roles with the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Tough Mudder, and the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee. Andy is a pragmatic visionary, working to unify Houstonians through the use of greenspace as Bayou Greenways 2020 connects people and places together. Andy has an Executive MBA from Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham and a BA from University of Leicester and Colorado State University.

Jeri Nordbrock
Chief Financial Officer

In February 2015, Jeri joined the Houston Parks Board after serving for three-plus years as Controller at KIPP Houston Public Schools. She brings her years of experience in nonprofit accounting, financial management, administration, planning, and fund development along with her passion for HPB’s mission and projects to her role as Director of Finance. Before pursuing a career in nonprofit management, Jeri was a commercial banker for nearly eight years with a major bank in Chicago, Illinois. She received her MBA in finance and economics from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and her BA in English, with French and math minors, from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.

Amanda Nunley
GIS Project Coordinator

Amanda Nunley joined the Houston Parks Board in October 2016 with more than 12 years of GIS experience in the civil engineering field. Amanda has worked on a variety of design projects from the public works, land development, site and H&H sectors. She leads the production and development of our GIS maps, databases and web apps; and analyzes complex data for our greenways and land acquisition efforts. Amanda has a Bachelor of Science in Geography from Texas A&M University, and a professional GIS certification from GISCI.

Charles H. Place, AIA
Managing Director of Capital Programs

Chip Place has over 30 years of experience directing large scale land development projects. For the last 13 years his career has focused on urban parks, including directing the planning and design of Brooklyn Bridge Park and capital projects for the New York City Region of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. For the last 3 years Chip has served as the Managing Director of Capital Programs for the Houston Parks Board where he is responsible for land acquisition, design and construction of Bayou Greenways 2020, creating 150 miles of linear parks along Houston’s major waterways. Chip graduated from the Rice University School of Architecture and the University of Houston Law Center.

Rachel Ranta
Administrative Manager Capital Programs

Rachel Ranta joined the Houston Parks Board in May 2015. As Administrative Manager, Rachel provides support to the organization’s Capital Projects team and is responsible for program management reports and organizing project records. Rachel brings over a decade of office management experience plus knowledge of non-profit organizations through her work at the Lawndale Art Center and Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston. Rachel received her MFA from the University of Houston and BFA from Maryville College, St. Louis.

Trent Rondot
Bayou Greenways Conservation & Maintenance Director

Trent joined the staff in 1999, and served 15 years as the Project Manager. Recently, he took on the role of Maintenance Manager for the Bayou Greenways 2020 program. For more than 25 years, he has been involved in many different aspects of the design professions, including park planning and development, landscape architecture, environmental design, land planning and architecture. Prior to coming to Houston, Trent worked with the Indianapolis Parks and Recreation Department and was co-founder of his own park and playground design firm.

Carol Rosborough
SR/WA, Senior Land Acquisition Specialist

Carol Rosborough, who joined the Houston Parks Board in July 2015 as a Senior Land Acquisition Specialist, is a licensed Real Estate Broker and Real Estate Instructor for the State of Texas. She achieved professional status as a Senior Right of Way Professional with International Right of Way Association through experience, education and examination. Carol has over 21 years of experience within the real estate industry from property management, commercial and residential real estate transactions. She has over 11 years of experience in property acquisition, title curative issues, and completing complex real estate transactions and projects with City engineers, attorney, developers and governmental entities while working in the local government industry. Carol has superior leadership, real estate project management and customer service skills. Carol has a BA from U.C.L.A. and a J.D. from Thurgood Marshall School of Law.

Deborah Rule
Director of Development

Deborah joined the Houston Parks Board in 1999. Her major responsibilities include implementation of development strategies for operations and projects, donor database management, grant administration and oversight/organization of special events. Deborah fills her free-time with as much hiking, backpacking, gardening and running as possible.

Darrell Washington
Bayou Greenways Greenspace Manager

Darrell, who goes by DK, has 32 years of experience in the infrastructure industry. Prior to his position at HPB, he worked at Harris County Flood Control District, where he was responsible for the daily operations of projects under his supervision. This included management and coordination with contractors and the projects team to insure successful completion within the budget and time constraints.

Linda Zhou
Capital Programs and Prolog Coordinator

Linda joined the Houston Parks Board in August 2016. She provides administrative support to the organization’s Capital Programs team. Linda has 14 years of experience in the service industry as well 4 years of experience in office management. Being a native Houstonian, Linda is excited to be a part of Houston Parks Board.

Danny Zirilli, PE, RLA
Construction Manager

Danny joined the Houston Parks Board in 2016 as Construction Manager with more than 17 years of experience in the design and construction industries. Being a Professional Engineer, Registered Landscape Architect as well as having experience as a Construction Manager, he has a lot of insight into many of the roles of a project’s team that he can draw from to manage projects effectively. He has worked on a variety of design and construction management projects from commercial, industrial, municipal and private projects ranging from subdivisions to industrial centers to municipal parks. He discovered his passion for park design and construction 10 years ago and has focused his career in that direction. Danny has a BSCE and Master of Engineering from the University of Florida. In his spare time he enjoys mountain biking, bass fishing, scuba diving and art exhibits.